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'.'. Hrc'-vr, Jf 
':0!.. LECTION 

Author's Copy. 


of the 


Vol. XXVI, Part I, pp. 123-125. 

Hymenoptera of the Siju Cave, 
Garo Hills, Assam. 





JANUARY, 1924. 




I. Triglypkolhrix striatidens Emery as a cave ant. By W. M. Wheeler ... 123 
II. Description of a new Braconid. By 8. A. Rohwer ... J2 * 




Dr. S. Kemp has sent me for identification several workers and a 
winged female of a small ant taken by the Zoological Survey of India 
in the Siju Cave, Garo Hills, Assam. The insects were nesting in com- 
plete darkness, 400 feet from the entrance of the cave, under 'stones in 
ground heavily manured with bat-guano. Dr. Kemp surmises that the 
ant is not a regular cavernicolous species and this proves to be true, for 
it is Triglyphothrix striatidens Emery, a highly adaptable Indian species 
which for some years has been extending its range, not only in the Old. 
but also to the New World. In a paper entitled " An Indian Ant Intro- 
duced into the United States " (Journ. Econ. Ent. 9, 1916, pp. 566- 
569, 1 fig.) I cited the known distribution of T. slriatidens in 1916. ' It 
had spread from India to the Bismarck Archipelago, Queensland, For- 
mosa, Ceram, Sumatra, Borneo, Guam, Tunis and Sierra Leone. In 
America it had been taken in Barbados, Mexico and Audubon Park, 
Louisiana. As early as 1906 Bingham found it in the propagating pits 
of the Kew Botanic Garden, and in 1905 and 1908 Donisthorpe recorded 
it as common in the palm house of the same institution. 

In this connection I would note that Mr. F. W. Urich recently sent 
me from Trinidad two species of ants which he took in the cave in- 
habited by the singular " guacharo," or fat-bird (Steatornis caripensis 
Humboldt). One of the species, which was living in the nests of the 
birds, is Wasmannia auropunctata Eoger, a well-known and widely dis- 
tributed neotropical ant, which usually nests under stones or bark. 
The other, which was living in the guano of the guacharo, belongs to 
a new genus and will be described as Spelaeomyrmex urichi, gen. et sp, 
nov. It is evidently a true cavernicolous ant, blind, pale-coloured and 
covered with long, sparse sense-hairs. 

Santschi [ Formicidse. Voyage de Ch. Alluaud et R. Jeannel en 
Afrique Orientale (1911-12), 1914] has recorded the following ants as 
having been taken by Alluaud and Jeannel in the caves at Tanga and 
Shimoni, East Africa : Ponera dulcis Forel, Leptogenys jeanneli San., 
Odontomachus haematoda L. var. troglodytes San., Dorylus (Ehogmus) 
fimbriat,us Shuck., Monomorium rhopalocerum Emery subsp. speluncarum 
' San., Strumigenys stygia San., Epitritus marginatus San. and Prenolepis 
(Nylanderia) jaegerskioeldi Mayr. Probably none of these can be re- 
garded as a true cavernicolous species. Of course, ants that nest in the 

[ 123 ] 

I 2 

124 Records of the Indian Museum. [ VOL. XXVI, 

ground or under stones are really cave-dwellers, and many of them 
would probably adapt themselves to living in the large cavities, to 
which we restrict the terms "cave" or "cavern," were it not that 
their food supply is usually too meagre to sustain whole colonies of 
social insects. 

By S. A. BOHWER, U. S. Bureau of Entomology, Washington, D. C. 

The specimens of this new genus and species of Braconid were re- 
cently forwarded to the author with the request that the species be 
named. The form is a very interesting one and although the sender 
stated that they were living in total darkness they show none of the 
usual characteristics which accompany this mode of life. From their 
systematic relationship and general habitus it may be expected that 
this species will be found to be a parasite of some internally feeding 
insect and perhaps one belonging to the order Coleoptera. 

Neontsira, new genus. 

The second intercubitus .is obsolent, although its position is clearly 
indicated,' and because of this one might be justified in saying that this 
new genus would fall in the subfamily Hecabolinae as defined by Szeplt- 
geti. 1 It does not agree entirely with the characterization of this group 
because the head is not cubical, nor does it agree with any of the genera 
placed in the subfamily. Considering that the fore wings have three 
cubital. cells, and I think we should, the genus will fall more exactly in 
the subfamily Hormiinae as defined by Szepligeti. It does not agree 
with any genus in this group, however, and it seems necessary to con- 
sider the head .cubical and place the genus, in the subfamily Doryctinae. 
In the key to the genera of this subfamily the new genus runs fairly 
satisfactorily to Ontsira Cameron, and when compared with the descrip- 
tion of Cameron's genus seems to have a number of significant charac- 
ters in common with it. From Ontsira it may, however, be distinguished 
by the strongly postfurcal nervulus, the different first tergite, the simple 
hind coxae and the absence of an impressed line on the prescutum. 

Genotype. Neontsira typica, new species. 

Head when seen from above subcubical, narrowing behind the eyes, 
and broadly projecting between eyes ; when seen from below the head 
is more nearly, cubical because the projection between the eyes is not 
separable ; ocelli arranged in an acute triangle ; eyes oval, prominent ; 
malar space long ; flagellar joints nearly of uniform length; notauli . 
nearly complete ; scutellum margined laterally ; propodeum with the 
dorsal surface separated from the lateral and posterior aspects by a 
carina, the posterior aspect with two median carinae ; prepectal carina 
strong ; sternauli and episternauli present ; .legs rather long, slender ; 
hind coxae elongate ; trochanters long ; radius leaving stigma, a short 

\ Genera Inseetorum, Braconidae, fas. 22, 1904, 

1924.1 Fauna of the Siju Gave. 125 

J J J 

distance beyond middle ; first abscissa of radius about half as long as 
the first intercubitus ; radial cell completely closed ; recurrent inter- 
stitial : nervulus postfurcal by at least its length ; subdiscoideus nearly 
interstitial, slightly curved at base ; radiella obsolescent, indicated by a 
faint line ; cubitella interstitial and extending to near apex of wing ; 
first tergite elongate ; no accessory sutures on tergites and all sutures 
feeble, so the second and third tergites are nearly fused ; only four ter- 
gites visible. 

Neontsira typica, new species. 

- Female. Length, 3-5 mm. ; length of antenna, 3 mm. ; length of 
ovipositor 1-5 mm. Face finely tesselate ; frons, vertex and orbits 
shining ; antenna 22-jointed, the apical joint longer than the preced- 
ing and acute apicaily ; scutum and scutellum opaque, finely granular ; 
notauli f oveolate ; mesepisternum polished, the sutures fpveolate ; dorsal 
aspect of propodeum reticulate, with an indication of a median carina 
which divides posteriorly ; first tergite about twice as long as apical 
width, finely and evenly striate ; second tergite with fine, even, longi- 
tudinal striae ; third tergite with fine transverse aciculation, but shin- 
ing ; fourth tergite polished. Piceous ; head, antenna (except apical 
joint), propodeum and first tergite rufo-ferruginous ; basal part of 
venter whitish ; legs piceous black, four anterior femora and tibiae 
beneath and all coxae beneath sordid whitish ; tarsi brownish ; wings 
hyaline, fore wing with the area from basal to end of stigma and 
occupying width of wing infuscated ; venation dark brown* 

Male. Length, 2-75 mm ; length of antenna, 3-75 mm. The male 
agrees very well with the above description of the female but differs in 
the much longer antenna which is 29-jointed. 

Type-locality. Siju Cave, Garo Hills, Assam. 

Described from seven (one type) females and one male received from 
the Director of the Zoological Survey of India. All of these were collected 
in February 1922 and seven were collected 450 feet from the entrance 
of the cave. The other paratype was collected 200 feet from the en- 
trance of the cave. 

Type, allotype and two paraty-pes. Cat. No. 14366, U. S. Nat. Mug. 

Four paratypes returned to the Director of the Zoological Survey of 
India, Indian Museum.